In an unsurprising turn of events, Guadalupe Radio Network has added a new ultra-conservative voice to their airwaves, but there’s an interesting twist: it's an African-American.
David L. Gray, a Traditionalist Catholic podcaster and YouTuber, has been added to the GRN lineup for 2021, with a start date of January 13th on their more than 37 stations across the US.
Gray announced the news in November, just months after GRN dropped “Morning Glory” from their stations following listener backlash toward certain aspects of the show—namely, Gloria Purvis’ outspoken anti-racism, which clashed on occasion with her more conservative co-hosts.
According to a video interview from 2011 and a deleted Wikipedia article, Gray is a former Freemason convicted of embezzlement in 2004 who served six years in prison, where he converted from agnosticism to Catholicism and began to write apologetics books.
Since his release, he has amassed nearly 21,000 YouTube subscribers (up from a few thousand earlier last year) and nearly 12,000 followers on Facebook, peddling a variety of Far Right and Traditionalist talking points.
He claims to have collaborated on a novena to Venerable Fr Augustus Tolton with Chicago’s auxiliary bishop Joseph Perry, the diocesan postulator for Tolton’s cause. (A document put out by the official Tolton guild in 2013, however, only mentions Gray as the novena's creator, and the novena website—run by Gray—only says Perry "approved and blessed" it.)
Unlike Purvis (and virtually all Black Catholics), Gray is an outspoken critic of the popular conception of racism, arguing that EWTN’s (and presumably GRN’s) decision to drop her show likely does not qualify.
In fact, he calls the prevailing notion “emotional racism”, in which, according to Gray, people wrongly accuse others of racism simply because of how they feel about something said or done to them.
That said, he considers Gloria Purvis to be, in his own words, a “social justice warrior”.
He also considers his position on race and racism “the authentically Catholic perspective”, and has shared it with at least one diocesan young adult’s group (in the diocese of Raleigh).
In July, Gray went so far as to claim supporters of Black Lives Matter—“organization”, “hashtag”, or “mantra”—have incurred excommunication.
In November, he joined the parade of Far-Right extremists attempting to reverse the certified election of soon-to-be president Joe Biden, and just a few days ago referred to Argentinian pro-choice protesters as “demons”.
Due to promoting such positions (and general discord) within the 2,300-member “Black & Catholic” Facebook group, he was removed earlier this year, according to sources. (Gray recounted this experience in a podcast episode with fellow Black Traditionalist Bobby Hesley in late November.)
Given these and other incidents concerning Gray’s fringe talking points (and voracious White audience), perhaps critics of GRN’s decision to drop “Morning Glory” weren’t so emotional after all.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder of Black Catholic Messenger, a priesthood applicant with the Josephites, and a ThM student w/ the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).